2019-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS2019 Volume 12: Energy Production and Secondary Batterie

Editors:F. Kongoli, H. Dodds, M. Mauntz, T. Turna, K. Aifantis, A. Fox, V. Kumar
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2019
Pages:112 pages
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)
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    Nanostructured Metal Oxide based Interlayers for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

    Teng Zhao1; Vasant Kumar2;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 351
    Topic: 14


    High-energy lithium-sulfur batteries are now earmarked as a viable means to meet the ever-rising demands of large-scale utilities and long-range electric vehicles.1 Their commercialization, however, has not come true yet due to the issues with the dissolution and diffusion of intermediate polysulfides in liquid organic electrolytes, which cause serious capacity degradation and low Coulombic efficiency. To solve these problems, a layer of material with a nano-architecture made from tiny metal oxides is placed on the surface of the sulfur cathode. This can trap fragments of the active material when they break off, keeping them electrochemically accessible and allowing the material to be reused. As a proof of concept, zinc oxides (ZnO) nanowire arrays are grown on three-dimensional (3D) nickel foam and are used as a nano-metal oxide based interlayer to enhance the electrochemical performance of Li-S batteries2. ZnO nanowires play a key role in chemically capturing polysulphides and remarkably mitigating capacity decay. After successful results, the foam was replaced by a lightweight carbon fibre mat to reduce the battery’s overall weight. Based on a similar design principle, a praline-like flexible interlayer consisting of titanium oxide (TiO2) nanoparticles and carbon nanofibers allows the chemical adsorption of polysulfides to a robust conductive film. TiO2 nanoparticles, serving as anchors, can chemically detect and intercept polysulfides in-situ3. The porous conductive carbon backbone helps in the physical absorption of polysulfides and provides redox reaction sites to allow the polysulfides to be reused. More importantly, it offers enough mechanical strength to support a high load TiO2 nanoparticles (79 wt%) that maximizes their chemical role, and can accommodate the large volume changes. A significant enhancement in cycle stability and rate capability has been achieved by incorporating our interlayer with a sulfur/carbon nanotube composite cathode. These results herald a new approach to advanced lithium–sulfur batteries using nanostructured metal oxide based interlayers.


    Li-S; Nanomaterials; Nanoscale;


    1. Chen, R., Zhao, T. and Wu, F. Chemical Communications, 2015, 51(1), 18-33.
    2. Zhao, T., Ye, Y., Peng, X., Divitini, G., Kim, H.K., Lao, C.Y., Coxon, P.R., Xi, K., Liu, Y., Ducati, C. and Chen, R., Advanced Functional Materials, 2016. 26(46), 8418-8426.
    3. Zhao, T., Ye, Y., Lao, C.Y., Divitini, G., Coxon, P.R., Peng, X., He, X., Kim, H.K., Xi, K., Ducati, C. and Chen, R., Small, 2017, 13(40), p.1700357.

    Cite this article as:

    Zhao T and Kumar V. (2019). Nanostructured Metal Oxide based Interlayers for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries. In F. Kongoli, H. Dodds, M. Mauntz, T. Turna, K. Aifantis, A. Fox, V. Kumar (Eds.), Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS2019 Volume 12: Energy Production and Secondary Batterie (pp. 67-68). Montreal, Canada: FLOGEN Star Outreach